Kids these days spend most of their time being sucked into the vortex of a television screen or smart devices, and don’t even play together much anymore. Perhaps they can embrace these fun games of a previous generation (kids of the 80’s and 90’s) and start enjoying each other’s company again.
These require speed, flexibility, and even gymnastic skills, and they are great workouts. Hopscotch, Stucky, Dandy shandy, Hide and seek, 123 red light and Chinese Skip are a few of those great games that encouraged child fitness.
Many ring games we played are native to Jamaica, such as Bull in a pen and There’s a brown girl in the ring. Games like Ringa ringa rosie, The farmer in the dell, and London bridge is falling down were more international and were adapted to suit our culture.
Some games we played were good for maintaining healthy brain function. Games like Hands of the 85 and This is …., where you pass several objects around while ensuring to call the correct name, encouraged concentration, quick thinking, and good memory.
These games had special clapping patterns and sometimes included other activities such as thigh slapping, or ankle slapping. A few examples are: Down by the river with a hanky panky, Rockin robin, and Down down baby.
Fake Gambling games
There was a game in which we gambled for rubber bands. Some called it Bum pon wall or Laskit. Marbles was also an extremely competitive game where the winner went home with extra marbles.
Once when my young nephews sat comfortably absorbed in the black hole of a TV screen, I turned the TV off. It was sad. They sat looking at me doe-eyed, confused and incapable of figuring out what to do next. So I took them outside and taught them how to build a tent and pretend to survive in the wild. Children should be encouraged to play more; it could be good for their physical and mental development as well as their social skills.